How can we use food to entice an animal into feeling more comfortable with us as we carry out our necessary tasks and procedures?

We need to choose foods that are highly palatable and appropriate for that species in order to offer a positive, emotional experience. The association with you and the food may also help the animal be more cooperative on subsequent interactions.


We offer food just before and during a stress-inducing experience

  • Approach by a stranger
  • Positioning yourself in a dominant stance
  • Placement onto an exam table
  • Restraint
  • Toenail trim
  • Injection
  • Rectal temperature

Use only foods that are easy to administer and highly palatable to make this positive association most powerful. Examples of highly palatable foods include:

  • Squeeze cheese
  • Peanut butter
  • KONG paste
  • Chicken baby food
  • Anything the animal loves that is non-toxic and safe to administer

These foods are easy to offer on a spoon or the end of a tongue depressor.